Pirelli World Challenge: GMG Endures Difficult Day in Toronto

GMG and their visit to Exhibition Place in Toronto.


GMG Racing Press Release TORONTO, ON (July 15, 2013)- Following a difficult weekend that saw the team off the podium for the second time all season, Global Motorsports Group’s (GMG) James Sofronas and Duncan Ende ended yesterday’s Honda Indy Toronto in fourth and sixth, respectively. As the 10th round of the Pirelli World Challenge Championship, it was a major blow to the team’s title hopes, with Sofronas falling to second in the championship for the first time in eight rounds.

“I’m just really gutted right now,” stated a disappointed Sofronas. “The car really started to come into its own during the second half of the race, but we had a wheel sensor fail and that caused my tires to lock up. The rest was history.”

Starting the race from third, the No. 14 Mobil 1 / Children’s Tumor Foundation Audi R8 LMS of James Sofronas was originally poised for a strong race. Running his trademark steady first half of the race before mounting a charge, the Villa Park, California resident found himself up to second by the race’s halfway point. As the championship point leader, Sofronas’ main rival, Johnny O’Connell in the Cadillac CTS-V.R, was right ahead, and the Audi driver knew that he had to pass O’Connell in order to maintain his title defense.


With the race heating up in the later stages, Sofronas inexplicably spun headed into the treacherous turn three, losing ground and several spots before getting the car turned around. As it turned out, a wheel sensor on the rear of the No. 14 machine had failed, causing the system’s ABS system to stop operation without James having any warning. Though he would recover with minimal damage, a late-race charge would only manage fourth. As only the fourth time in ten races that he would fail to make the podium, the slip in championship hopes is easily the most devastating part of the equation.

“We spent the first half of the season looking really, really good in the championship,” stated Sofronas. “All of a sudden, two bad weekends and we’re in second. The Cadillac is really strong at the moment and I don’t see how we’re going to be able to keep pace with the current Balance of Performance. We were in the championship lead because of our consistency and Cadillac's unreliability, and now we’re in a hard spot to catch up. It’s crazy to me that our worst finish was sixth, once, and every other race has been in the top four including three wins, and we’re not leading this thing.”


Having a similarly disappointing, but quiet race was Los Angeles native Duncan Ende. Struggling with handling and with little time on a track he hadn't driven in over six year, the No. 24 STANDD / Merchant Services, Ltd. Audi R8 LMS would both qualify and finish in sixth. Losing one place at the start, Ende’s familiarity with the tricky Toronto street course began to increase as the race wore on, eventually taking a spot back during the second half of the event. Running an otherwise quiet race, Ende would take solace in gaining one place in the championship, currently sitting seventh.

“It's been a while since I've driven here, and with such little seat time it was definitely interesting to come up to speed,” stated Ende. “Admittedly I was hoping for more this weekend, we’ve had some good runs recently, but at least we gained in points. The guys did what they could to give me a good car, we’ll just go from here.”


With a small break between Toronto and next round at Mid-Ohio, GMG will regroup with an emphasis on getting their cars back to the front and taking over the championship lead. The 11th and 12th rounds of the championship will take place on Saturday and Sunday, August 3 and 4, with live coverage on www.world-challengetv.com. About GMG

Founded in 2001 by James Sofronas and Fabryce Kutyba, GMG has quickly established itself as North America’s premier performance tuning and racing facility. What began as a small 1200 sq. ft. shop, maintaining two race cars, has grown into a 30,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art performance tuning, racing and service facility located in (Orange County) Santa Ana, California. The staff's experience, attention to detail, and passion are what make GMG the choice of professionals and enthusiasts world wide. Whether you want to maximize the performance of your street car, or race wheel-to-wheel on both amateur and professional racing series across North America, GMG’s reputation for service and quality is unmatched.
Learn more at www.gmgracing.com

About Mobil 1

Conventional oil is simply refined crude oil. Mobil 1 synthetic oil, however, is not only refined, but it is also distilled, purified, and broken down into its basic molecules. It is then rebuilt and added to, so that it can better protect against wear, high heat, cold weather and sludge buildup. Ultimately, this process helps your car’s engine run better for longer. You can explore more about these benefits below.
Learn more at www.mobiloil.com

About Lasso

Lasso is a request-based, sharing network predicated on a very simple idea: You have something that I want—and you may not even know it until I ask for it. With so much content cluttering our phones, tablets, PCs and social networks, it can be difficult to seek out and find the specific items of interest to you. Friends or colleagues may not share this content with you directly because they’re drowning in data overload themselves. Often, these friends aren’t sure exactly what you want. Lasso makes it easy for you to round up the digital content you want from friends—simply by asking for it. By putting the onus on the requester, instead of the person holding the content, you’ll be in a much better position to actually receive the digital content you’re interested in.

Learn more at www.lasso.me

About Merchant Services Ltd.

In 2001 Merchant Services Ltd. was founded with three basic principles in mind: quality, service, and commitment. Inspired by our racing heritage we pride ourself in providing the highest level of customer service and support 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Merchant Services Ltd. develops long term relationships with both our merchants and banking partners allowing us to have the highest customer retention rate in the industry. Founded by a professional race car driver, innovation and efficiency have always been our core competencies, ensuring that our merchants receive the cutting edge solutions their businesses need.

Learn more at www.merchantservicesltd.com

About Spyder

Spyder was founded by avid skier and outdoor athlete David Jacobs. He rose to world-class rankings as a competitive skier, and stayed connected to the sport he loves by coaching, designing related products, and building one of the most powerful brands in the industry. His dedication to the sport of skiing and the Spyder brand is as inspiring as it is intriguing. Spyder's growth exploded over the turn of the century, and the company is now the largest ski-specialty brand in the world. David has recently discovered the adrenaline rush in racing classic Formula One cars, finding success - not surprisingly - in this new pastime. For a man who's thrived on sports, technology, and professional advancement, the world is sure to see David go a few more times around the track.

Learn more at www.spyder.com

About STANDD

Stop Texting And Distracted Driving (STANDD) was founded by Diveeta Thompson, whose son Rodney lost his life while driving. There were numerous factors that played a factor - speed, music, and texting. In an effort to raise awareness about the dangers of texting and driving, Diveeta founded STANDD and has been working diligently throughout her home state of Indiana and nationally through Duncan Ende's motorsports program to spread the message of the dangers of distracted driving. STANDD also promotes the Rodney O. Thompson II Scholarship, which was established to help young people fulfill their goal of attending college after high school.

Learn more at www.standd.org

Learn more at www.racersroast.com

About Swisher

The company began in 1861 when David Swisher received a small cigar business in settlement of a debt. Back then, cigars were only a sideline for Swisher and his four sons, just one of many products that they hawked across the Midwest for the “rolling stores” or wagons. Today, Swisher International, Inc. is a leader in the tobacco business, accounting for one-third of the United States' cigar sales and is America’s largest cigar exporter.

Learn more at www.swisher.com

Photo credit: Pirelli World Challenge

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About this article
Series PWC
Drivers James Sofronas , Duncan Ende , David Jacobs , Fabryce Kutyba
Teams Global Motorsports Group
Article type Blog
Tags camping world, cars, nascar, new hampshire, racing, sports, sprint cup, sprint cup series, toyota, vickers